Reid Hofmann and Peter Thiel and technology and politics

Skip the first fifteen (!) minutes of introduction:


One hopes it covers funding lawsuits to destroy media outlets that technology titans do not approve of.

Not surprised you don't believe in respecting other people's privacy. Have you tried hating others less and a little more love?

...lawsuits that still have to win on the merits. Which it did, because the premise of the suit was completely valid.

The whole thing was unseemly and it is too bad everyone involved could not lose.

You are an idiot.

not sure Mr LinkedIn brought much to this party .... Mr Thiel is consistently thoughtful and interesting. Is he right though that AI is Communist!?

You could hypothetically use AI to overcome some of (central) planning's central flaw in acquiring information?

There is a longstanding expectation that as automation more completely replaces human labor (AI a necessary condition), more and more displaced persons will go on the dole.

But is that really "communism?"

Took a dump in my new place but didn't unpack my toilet paper yet. there's still danger in my life

I heard this part before my streaming cut out. It was a bit weak:

Thiel says AI depends on "centralization" and then that "centralization is, or leads to communism." Wrong on moth counts, really. The "big data" databases on which AI are trained are really distributed all over the place. IBM and Apple and the State of Texas and Facebook and the IRS do not have everything together in one data stockpile. Given falling storage and processing costs, these things will become only more decentralized.

Now the "communism" thing is a closer miss. It is true that China loves AI and state-centralized big data, but its not communism that makes them love.

It is authoritarianism.

AI is a useful tool to any modern authoritarian, right or left.

Wish I could read the transcript without watching YouTube video. Found a news report
that summarized the hour and half in about six sentences, and based on that, reading it slowly scroll on YouTube is a waste of time.

I had planned on listening during a drive later, but I'm not sure I'll bother after stuff like this:

"Just “telling Trump voters to just hurry up and die” neglects the deeper issues of economic stagnation involved, Thiel said."

Hillbilly Elegy became the No 1 nonfiction bestseller, Oprah's pick, etc etc because people want to understand Trump voters, with compassion.

A straw man based on that and "Silicon Valley as a one party state" seems a bit shallow.

Ah well, I will at least give it a shot.

Wow. Listening, that bit was even worse. Thiel starts strong, says we should consider the strongest opposing views. He introduces the recently trendy "steel man." He says people should "steel man" MAGA (ok) and then without a breath continues "rather than just telling Trump voters to just hurry up and die."

There is laughter at that point, and someone says "what did you just say?"

Dude seems a bit less than self-aware.

I was interested enough in what Mr. Thiel had to say that I watched the dialogue moderated by Chris Hughes between Thiel and Arianna Huffington (2012) and the conversation between Cowen and Thiel (2015). I suppose my only excuse is that one wastes lots of time in one's youth.

Crypto and fintech were separate but are now merging. They are merging because exchange technology and AI are the same technology. So Peter Thiel completely fouled the technologies up. I find that surprising as, at this time, anyone who start a company in crypto or fintech has to be aware of the technology merger, else they fail.

I am happy Washinton is dead and can see what his country has become!!

Moderator at 1:13:00: "When the Chinese come to the U.S., they chorrtle at our antiquated behavior. You guys were way ahead of China in thinking of an online payment system yet from where I'm sitting they have completely overtaken us.

Thiel then explains why China is ahead and Japan is behind in ecommerce because of development and includes this:

"E-commerce is big in China because the Chinese never built big retail stores. Japan has had the most elaborate retail industry and that's probably the country you'll have the smallest percentage of e-commerce, and its not because Japan is unusually backward but because Japan's old economy functioned reasoably well."

Actually, Japan's B2C e-commerce as a percentage of GDP is about the same in the U.S. and China. In 2013, China = 1.1%, Japan = 1.1% and the U.S. = 1.2%. The projection for 2018 is China = 2.0% , Japan = 1.7%, U.S. = 2.0%.

Actually, shouldn't the relevant baseline be retail sales, not GDP?

One thing people really underestimate is that the game Kingdom Hearts really changed people's perceptions of norms by introducing the shard-haired final fantasy characters to goofy and his friends. Without those games there is no trump presidency.

Kingdom Hearts was way ahead of its time in convincing people of the evils of Hillary's identity politics.

I thought of that but you could use either so went with what Thiel said. Then again, percentage of retail is better. Here is e-commerce as a percentage of retail sales in 2015, the latest year I could easily find. Notice Japan is not last as Thiel explained nor is China way out ahead:

UK 14%, China 13%, Japan 7%, US 7%, France 7%, Germany 7%.

Double the US is huge as the wealthy and modern sector of China is only in the Eastern third of the country. No wonder to a Chinese who can visit the US, the change seems like night and day. The difference between the Chinese boonies and the richer areas isn't like Coast vs flyover in the US, it's more like California vs. most of poorer India.

An AI app that enables shipping lecture/symposium intros would be a great thing.

And an AI app that assesses context and intent (skipping instead of shipping).

Reid Hoffman claims to have a lot of answers, but he still can't manage to put his fork down and be at a healthy weight.

Ive always appreciate how quickly Tyler gets to the conversation in Conversations with Tyler. So many of these public events have someone introduce, the person who introduces the introducer

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